The Rann region makes for great sightings – the landscapes are unlike any you will see. At once you will see great swatches of white salt, brown sand or just water.
I stopped with a start when I noticed what looked like a sheet of ice half-way between Rapar and Dholavira. Only these were crystals of salt stretching far into the horizon.
The white Rann is best seen on full moon night; I happened to be there on a moonless one. But did other hues in evening and morning sun.
The landscape of the Rann in Dholavira itself is very beautiful. It is white and watery with a rough path for cars going through it.
To enter the area, you need permission from the Border Security Force (BSF) who form a protective shield against neighbouring Pakistan. The path goes to their last post 13 miles away. And then it is 25 miles of water till the border – no one can cross it says BSF. So why have a post here?
The Commanding Officer gave permission readily. But he was keen to have tea with me; had to wrangle out of it before it got too dark to enjoy the views.
My first reaction as I drive in: more beautiful than the Dead Sea. But not advisable to step in. In the Dead Sea, you cannot sink. Here, you can only sink and no one can help you.
Did venture on to the salt beds gingerly to take pictures – with no one to hear my calls for help if it came to that. Got some stunning sunsets.
I was all alone, and there was not a sound. Or any life form as far as I could see. Could have sat around contemplating for hours – where do you get to be with yourself like this?
BSF advised me to return before it got dark. The headlights of my car could be seen as unwanted territorial intruders setting off army gunfire in my direction. Ouch, that would have hurt.
Ajay Jain is currently on the Great Arabian Sea Drive, starting from Delhi and following the coastline all the way from Gujarat down to Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Follow all updates on:
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